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Home / Blog / Exploring Window Parts and Designs: Your Complete Guide

Windows are not just decorations that live smack dab between our walls—nor are they magical openings to the outside world.

Windows are complicated in a subtle way, held together by different parts that all work together to give you access to a life-changing feature from inside your home. But how many of us really stop to think about what goes in a window? And what makes them easy to use and so effective?

Whether you’re looking to replace a specific part of your window or you’re just curious about what goes on behind the curtain, here’s everything you need to know about window parts and designs.

Window Parts

Window Parts

Understanding the different parts that make up a window can come in handy as a homeowner, from replacing individual components to customizing your next window installment from the ground up.

Let’s take a look at the different window parts that you will come across in the wild.


Here’s a part that most people know and love—the frame. It’s the backbone of any window.

First and foremost, frames provide support and stability for your window’s glass. They also serve as the focal point for the window in a visual sense and in terms of all the different parts needed to come together and make the window work properly.

Common materials for frames include wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. There are different advantages to each material when it comes to frame durability, how effective it insulates your home, and the type of style the frame has to offer.


If frames are the backbone of a window, then the glass is the heart and soul, determining how a window looks and feels.

After all, the glass panes tend to be the first thing we look for in a window, besides the frame, and the type of glass that you choose can make a world of difference on the look and feel of your window.

That’s because, on top of being a visual center-piece, glass also plays a crucial role in how the window is able to insulate, soundproof, and let natural light in.


To close the loop on the anatomical metaphor that we’ve been using so far, sashes are like the limbs of a window, holding each pane of glass in their designated place and determining the window’s movement (or lack thereof).

Depending on what kind of window you have, sashes can be fixed in place—meaning you can’t open the window—or maneuvered to easily open and close.

Even if you never knew it, the kind of window that you gravitate towards will likely have to do with this key part. Do you prefer a sash that slides up, swings open, or stays in place?


Jambs are another window part that you may have never heard of by name, but you’d probably know it when you see it. They play a pivotal role in the overall makeup of a window.

Jambs are the vertical sides of the window frame, with each side providing support and a way for the sash to attach to the window itself.

Jambs can be single or double, depending on the window type.

Window Hardware

Window Hardware

Now that we’ve covered some of the essential parts of a window, let’s explore different hardware options.

Think of window hardware as the unsung heroes that make your windows work without breaking a sweat every day. These components—from handles to locks and hinges—make easy opening and closing possible—not to mention, hardware can be the fundamental  difference in keeping your home secure.

As a result, the right window hardware goes a long way in making sure that your window does its job in more ways than one.


Handles, also known as operators, are like the magic wands of casement and awning windows, letting you open and close them with a flick of your wrist.

They come in all sorts of styles and finishes, from simple to complex designs—all of which can add a bit of flair to the window itself and make your life a whole lot easier.

Never underestimate an easy-to-use, comfortable, high-quality handle on your window!


Locks are the guardians of your windows, ensuring security and peace of mind by stopping unwanted visitors from breaking into your home.

From simple latch mechanisms to advanced multipoint locking systems, locks can provide different degrees of protection, with multipoint systems offering a higher level of security.

Locks: because, unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect, and, after all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Hinges are the unsung heroes of operable windows like casement or awning styles, allowing these windows to swing open, easy as pie.

Choosing top-notch hinges means your windows will swing out effortlessly whenever you need them to, opening up some much-needed simplicity to your home’s daily routine.

Window Designs

Window Designs

Let’s dive into our favorite part—the exciting world of window designs. These puppies can really jazz up your home!

Whether you’re into the classic vibes of single-hung and double-hung windows or the cool functionality of casement and awning windows, there’s a design out there to match your style and make your home shine.

Single-Hung Windows

When you stop and think about older homes, chances are that traditional windows might pop into your head, and if we had to bet, those windows have just one layer of glass.

These single-pane windows, also known as single-pane, can stir up a strong sense of nostalgia, thanks to their classic charm. And even though they aren’t the greatest at insulating, single-pane windows are great for providing your home with a great view and timeless look.

Double-Hung Windows

Just like you might imagine, double-hung windows (aka double-pane windows) have two layers of glass. Between the two layers, there is a sealed airspace in between, which basically creates a barrier that keeps the heat out in summer and the cold at bay during the winter.

So, not only do double-pane windows look great, but they work double-time as far as insulation and energy efficiency go—that way, your heating and cooling systems don’t have to!

Specialty Windows

Specialty windows are like the cool, funky cousins of the window world. Specialty windows come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, usually with innovative features that really make a statement in your home.

From unique geometric designs to special opening styles, these windows are perfect for homeowners who want to show off their personality.

Casement Windows

Casement windows are like your home’s VIPs, swinging open like a door to let in that fresh breeze and clear views of the outside world.

Because these windows are hinged at the side and swing outward, they are excellent at ventilating spaces—not to mention they bring a one-of-a-kind look to the table.

Perfect for those who love a bit of elegance while serving a functional purpose, casement windows are a great choice for any style of home. Put them in a room that could use a little extra touch of class.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are like your home’s secret weapon against the elements, letting in fresh air while keeping rain, hail, and other flying debris on the outside where they belong!

Hinged at the top, awning windows swing open from the bottom, creating a stellar canopy effect that’s perfect for airing out bathrooms and kitchens during a light rain.

Their unique design makes them a great choice for rooms where you need privacy and protection from the elements.

Picture Windows

Picture windows are arguably the real showstoppers, since they do one thing and do it really well.

These fixed frames don’t open or close, making them ideal for showcasing the view to the outside world, bringing in that sweet, sweet natural light, and highlighting the finer architectural details of your home.

You will usually find picture windows in living rooms, bedrooms, and other spaces where getting the best views and the most amount of natural light are the name of the game.

Sliding Windows

You know them, you love them: sliding windows are the modern heroes of your home, making life easier with their smooth, horizontal glide.

Sliding them open with little to no effort whatsoever never gets old, nor does instantly revealing a clear view of the outdoors or letting in a nice, refreshing breeze on a perfect day.

Sliding windows are simple, and they’re perfect for rooms where you want to make the most out of little space and need to up the airflow and lighting.

Pass-Through Windows

Pass-through windows are the true MVPs of indoor-outdoor living, making the world of entertaining and serving guests a literal breeze. Need to serve up a drink or pass the remote? These windows have you covered.

Whether your pass-through windows can slide, fold, or push open, they connect between different areas inside or outside the home, depending on where you have them installed.

Ideal for kitchens, bars, and outdoor dining areas, pass-through windows are a game-changer when it comes to your home’s flow and its natural ability to bring people together in style.

Custom Windows

Custom windows are like the artists’ canvas of your home, allowing you to unleash your inner creativity and bring your picture-perfect vision to life.

Whether you dream of a unique shape, size, or operation style, custom windows are made-to-order, and they offer you endless possibilities in terms of personalizing your window design and adding another layer of expression to your home.

Perfect for any kind of home, custom windows create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that reflects your individuality as a homeowner.

Window Features

Low-E Protection Livingroom

This thin, transparent layer is applied to the surface of glass in order to let as little heat in or out as possible, as well as block UV radiation, all while allowing plenty of gorgeous natural light to pass through.

Let’s check out the features that turn your windows into more than just glass and frames.

From energy-efficient options like Low-E coating and double-pane glass to practical elements like weatherstripping and easy-to-use screens, these features make your home more comfy and efficient.

Low-E Coating

Imagine a window that lets in all the beautiful sunlight while keeping out the harsh heat, and voila! There you have it, the magic of Low-E coating.

This thin, transparent layer is applied to the surface of glass in order to let as little heat in or out as possible, as well as block UV radiation, all while allowing plenty of gorgeous natural light to pass through.

At the end of the day, low-E coating can make your home more comfortable, with awesome added bonuses, like protecting the furnishings inside of your home from fading as a result of UV exposure.


Weatherstripping is like your window’s armor against the elements, keeping air and water out with durable materials like rubber, silicone, or foam.

Sash weatherstripping hugs the edges of the sash frame to create a tight seal when you shut the window, while jamb weatherstripping seals the vertical sides to keep your home cozy.

And don’t forget interlocking weatherstripping—it’s the secret weapon for double-hung or sliding windows, ensuring they stay snug and efficient.


Screens kitchen

Screens come in different materials and designs to match any window type, so that your home stays comfortable

Screens are like your window’s best friend, keeping out insects, letting in fresh air, and adding a touch of style to the unit. These add-ons come in different materials and designs to match any window type, so that your home stays comfortable and bug-free.

On top of that, retractable screens do wonders for your windows, disappearing when you don’t need them. They let your view, and your home’s interior design, take center stage whenever you want, without missing a beat or having to search up a “how-to” video on YouTube.


Grilles, also known as grids or muntins, are like the jewelry for your windows, adding a decorative touch without the extra glass. They come in several different styles, patterns, and materials to match your home’s vibe and design.

Simulated grilles are applied to the exterior glass surface to give the illusion of divided lights, while integral grilles are inserted between the glass panes during manufacturing.

In other words, simulated grilles are added on to the window after the fact for pure aesthetic reasons, while integral grilles are, well, integral to the window itself, since they are physically connected to the glass panes inside the frame.

And then there are removable grilles. These grilles offer a ton of flexibility, allowing you to change your window’s appearance by easily attaching or detaching grille inserts, and in turn, switching up your home’s style on a dime.

Unleash Creative Possibilities with Pella Windows and Doors

Pella OmahaUnderstanding the various components of windows isn’t just about knowing what all these different parts and pieces do; it’s about making smart choices for your home. Whether you’re renovating your home or it from the ground up, knowing these parts helps you pick windows that not only look great but also hold up over time.

At Pella, we’ve got all these parts covered. Whether you’re into frames, sashes, hardware, or designs, we’ve got options to fit your style and needs.

And with our Pella Care Guarantee, you’re covered, too, thanks to some of the best warranties around. We’ve got you for up to 10 years, including labor costs.

Ready to get started? Schedule a free consultation with your local Pella of Omaha or Lincoln dealer today. Let’s bring out the best in your home’s personality together.

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